The "Chinese Seal" group


 Some cups and saucers with blue transfer decoration, often in the "Broseley" or "Chinese Temples" pattern, have a pseudo Chinese seal mark in blue transfer on the base. The seal marks imitate marks on Chinese porcelain in the Seal script.  The best-known was used by Miles Mason. They have been catalogued by Ironside (1992, 1993, 1994).  Many of the unidentified makers probably worked in Longton. They often use what I call a "light Ridgway type" handle but this doesn't mean they were made by Ridgway!


Square seal marks can have a single or a double line border. (click on marks)

Square seal: single line border Square seal: double line border

Other pseudo-Chinese marks. (click on marks)


Square seal with single line border

Square seal marks with a single line border are the only kind used by Miles Mason. Cups with a double line border were not made by Miles Mason.

Miles Mason
Miles Mason cup with "7" shape handle with broadly pointed upper and lower attachment. Finely potted in white body with even wall thickness and flat bottom inside. Scalloped edge with 24 gentle flutes. Blue seal mark (see right h5.8mm) endorses Miles Mason identification (c.f. pl 417 in Berthoud (1990)). (aj103  h56.9, w83.2, b41.3, handle: v32.4, h15.2, w11.2, 8).
Miles Mason coffee cup with a typical "loop" handle with a thumb-rest on the top. Top attachment rounded, bottom attachment pointed. Pseudo Chinese seal mark (h5.9mm) like aj103 (above), very clear on saucer (h10.4mm; see right). (aj222, h65, w67.2, b40.3 (47.7) handle: h15.8, v35.4, w9.0,  6.4)
Unknown
Light  Ridgway type handle with one main kink,  set at the top rim.

 A cup with a Ridgway-style "loop" handle with one main kicks along the lower edge. Broseley pattern transfer print and  blue seal mark on base (ht 7.9mm) very similar to Miles Mason but larger. No glaze on footrim. Unknown. (aj491, h54.9, w88.8, b39.4 (45.4) handle: h14.2 (20.2), v25.6, k28.6, w6.8, 518, t4.9)

Hicks and Meigh
Heavy Ridgway type handle,  set at the top rim.

 A cup with a Ridgway-style "loop" handle with two gentle kicks along the lower edge. Veranda pattern transfer print and  blue seal mark on base (ht 5mm) like figs 17 and 18 in Ironside (1992) suggest Hicks and Meigh. (aj491, h55, w83.8, b43.7 (48.7) handle: h16.3 (20.8), v29.5, k28.6, w7.1, 5.8, t4.4)
 A can with a Ridgway-style "loop" handle with two gentle kicks along the lower edge. Veranda pattern transfer print with gilt rim line and  blue seal mark on base (ht 5.5mm) like figs 17 and 18 in Ironside (1992) suggest Hicks and Meigh. (aj444, h58.8, w64.9, b55.1 (62.2) handle: h17.5 (22), v32.4, k28.5, w7.1, 5.9, t4.3)
 A can with a heavy Ridgway-style "loop" handle with two gentle kicks along the lower edge (restoration at lower attachment). Veranda pattern transfer print and  blue seal mark on base (h5.6mm ) like figs 17 and 18 in Ironside (1992). Possibly Hicks and Meigh. (aj169, h57.3, w66.1, b54.4 handle: h17.7, v30.5, k28.8, w7.2, 5.9, t4.1)
Unknown
Long, light  Ridgway type handle with two kinks,  set at the top rim.

 A cup with a Ridgway-style "loop" handle with two kicks along the lower edge. Broseley pattern transfer print and  blue seal mark on base (ht 7.5mm). No glaze on footrim. Unknown. (aj524, h55.1, w86.4, b38.1 (43.1) handle: h12.9 (17.3), v31, k28.9, w6.8, 5.4, t4.3)

Square seal with double line border
"Light Ridgeway-type" with strong elbow and two kicks
 Loop handle with two  kicks and slightly pointed upper and lower attachments. Finely potted with even wall thickness. 

 A can with a "light" Ridgway-style "loop" handle with two gentle kicks along the lower edge and 12 scallops. Mark (h 7.7mm). (aj248, h63.6, w68.2, b58 (62.8) handle: h16.1, v28.5, k28.3, w6.9, 5.7, t4.1)

"Light Ridgeway-type" with  and Chinese seal mark
 Loop handle with single kick and rounded upper and lower attachments. Finely potted with even wall thickness. 

A cup with a "Ridgeway" type handle with a single strong kick. Rim has 22 gilt scallops (2 much smaller than the rest). "Seal" mark with letters J T M N clear on saucer (right top, h11.5mm) but not on cup (below right, h7.6). (aj109, h58, w84, b39 handle: h14.5, v26.5, w6.2, 5)
A cup with a "Ridgeway" type handle with a single strong kick. Rim has 19  scallops. Cup has drooped during firing. "Seal" mark with letters J T M N clear (right h7.2mm) . (aj502, h58.7, w83.7, b39.6 (44.3) handle: h14.8 (18.8), v27.3, w6.5, 4.8, t4.8)
A cup with a "Ridgeway" type handle with a single strong kick. Rim with 18 gilt scallops. "Seal" mark with letters J T clear on cup base (see right, h6.7mm). (aj306, h53.1, w85.8, b43.3 handle: h15.4, v27.4, w6.6, 5.2)
A with a "Ridgeway" type handle with a single strong kick. Rim has 18  scallops. "Seal" mark possibly with letters J T  on saucer (right top, h9mm) and on cup (right lower, h6.7mm).  (see Ironside, 1994)  (aj127, h57.5, w85.1, b41 handle: h14, v26.7, w6.5, 5.2)
  A cup with a "Ridgway" type handle with a single strong kick and gilt line. Rim has gilt line and 21  scallops. Engraving and "Seal" marks on saucer (right, h9.3mm) and on cup ( h6.9) as aj127 ( see Ironside, 1994). (a023, h59, w84.1, b39.8 handle: h14, v26.6, k29.8, w6.5, 5.2, t5.2)
  A cup with a long "Ridgway" type handle with a two kicks. Rim wavy. Engraving and "Seal" marks on cup (right, 8mm wide). (m045, h59, w84, b(41) ) Miller
Other pseudo Chinese marks
"Light Ridgeway-type" with two kicks and "Chinese"  mark
 Long, loop handle with two kicks and rounded upper and lower attachments. Heavier potting, with walls slightly thicker towards base which is narrow. 

  A cup with a long narrow light "Ridgway" type handle with two weak kicks. Rim has 18  scallops.  "Seal" mark in cartouche on cup base (h6.1mm) ( see Ironside, 1994). (aj292, h53.6, w84.1, b35.6 handle: h14, v33.3, k31.1, w7.9, 5.6, t4.4)
Pottery cup with square handle and "Chinese"  mark
 Square handle with round section. No upper attachment flange and rounded  lower attachment.  

  A cup with a square handle.  Cartouche mark Semi-China  on cup base (h15mm).  (aj303, h55.1, w80.6, b37 (41.5) handle: h14.5, v24.3,  w8.2, 5.5, t5.2)

References:

Ironside, M. (1992) "The pseudo-Chinese seal marks" North. Cer. Soc. Newsl. 86, 27-30. Ironside, M. (1993) "The pseudo-Chinese seal marks" North. Cer. Soc. Newsl. 89, 25-29. Ironside, M. (1994) "The pseudo-Chinese seal marks" North. Cer. Soc. Newsl. 95, 35-38.

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